Letters: 3/12/2020

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Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons

Bernie Sanders wants us well

When I get sick or injured, I feel instantly vulnerable. I feel compassion all at once for anyone who’s sick more of the time, or who lives in chronic pain. When someone like a medical provider or stranger shows me kindness, my knees buckle in gratitude. The illusion that I’m unbreakable fades into the truth of our shared humanness. We are all in this together. 

The fact that the greediest corporations and their leaders see fit to take something that is a human need such as health care, and hold it ransom, charging ever-larger sums, means that health care is held out of reach for more and more of us each day. Sometimes, because we Americans love our children, our partners and our very lives — we agree to pay monstrous sums. We trade a chance at life for a lifetime of debt. We might lose our homes, go hungry. The corporations hold our health and our lives in their greedy fists. 

So what holds these tyrants in check? A government of and by and for the people is supposed to protect us by making rules to stop greed and protect patients. But Big Pharma and health insurers give staggering sums to members of congress. They’re spending billions in ads against improved Medicare for All and Sen. Bernie Sanders, both of which give me hope. Bernie is a leader committed to improving our wellbeing. 

True democracy can save us. A leader who wants to restore the heart of our nation to the people and meet our needs can help. But he cannot do it alone. We must all stand together and say that our lives, and life on Earth, matter more than the extreme profits and deep pockets of those holding our future in their tight fists.

Take back your health, your life, your country, your power. Stand for the good of all life, of those you’ve never met, of all people. Stand with Bernie Sanders. 

Sara Wright/Boulder

On centrism

On Feb. 27, 2020, the NYT ran the op-ed “No, not Sanders, Not Ever,” by David Brooks. This was followed by another in which Brooks made the case for Bloomberg, and then another advocating for Biden as the establishment’s last chance. It was titled, “Biden’s Rise Gives the Establishment One Last Chance.” The Times put these opinions front and center during primaries.

At the same time, Hilary Clinton’s released a caustic personal attack on Sanders. By this and more, I fully know who the DNC has and will promote — their inner-circle, establishment, perceivably centrist candidate. Certainly not Warren or Sanders. So much for the party serving the people. Instead it exercises its private sway over who represents us while ignoring the possibility that independent voters really want more substance, something more than a safe-seeming guy.  They’ve miscalculated on this before and they’re doing it again, at our expense.

Some people literally cannot survive the neo-liberal incrementalism that the established DNC’s so-called center is all about. Considering the uptick, if you will, of climate catastrophes, none of us can. So there is a big difference between perceptions created about a candidate as being centrist (or, electable) and the policies so-called centrists undertake. Truly, they are less in the center, thereby creating balance, than they are placing their weight on the side of extinction.

How centrist is the DNC’s record anymore? Does it serve the real majority, and working people? How proactive on carbon emissions? Why does a ban on further oil and gas operations seem radical when it is our only hope? Why pander to the idea that we cannot afford to repair our healthcare safety net at such a time? How can we afford not to? Frontline communities already are suffering higher illness and death rates because of our inaction. Like floodwaters, the results will overtake us all, in time.

Elections are too much like personality contests. They are also elaborate dice-throws about who can beat whom, guesses at probabilities of which man will be the white knight and overturn Trump are red herrings. 

For increasing numbers, the wolf is at the gate. The urgency right now is to respond to people who are hurting with policies that will actually help. We need real representation, by someone, for this to happen in time. Centrists these days are most often representative of a dangerous status quo, and they are in thinning disguise.

Deborah Kay Kelly/Boulder